The FGCU men’s basketball team has added another non-conference game to the schedule with the addition of a road trip to Loyola Chicago on Nov. 13 at Gentile Arena. The start time for the game will be announced at a future date.
“This game at Loyola will be a challenging test early in the year that we are excited about,” said head coach Michael Fly. “It will certainly be a gauge to where we are as they return four starters and several key players from last year’s NCAA team.”
Another update to the schedule is the movement of three ASUN games at the beginning of the conference slate. The North Florida game to open league play has been moved to Tuesday, Jan. 4 with tip still set for 7 PM. A pair of road games have also been moved with the contest at Kennesaw State now being played on Tuesday, Jan. 11 and the match-up at Stetson now set for Tuesday, Jan. 18.
This will be the first time the Eagles and Ramblers have met though both programs have history as NCAA Tournament Cinderellas. FGCU became the first-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 during the historic 2012-13 season. Loyola reached the 2018 Final Four before falling to Michigan in the semifinals. The Ramblers (26-5) also reached the NCAA Tournament last year after winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament en route to making the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinals before bowing out to Oregon State.
A pair of must-see games will open the home schedule. The highlight of arguably the Eagles best-ever home slate is a non-conference match on Tuesday, Nov. 16 for a Dunk City Reunion as Andy Enfield brings his reigning NCAA Elite Eight USC Trojans to Alico Arena in the first ever visit by a Pac-12 opponent. Unto itself, the USC tip would be a prominent piece of the schedule. However, this will be an extra-special event as the 2013 Dunk City Team will be the inaugural inductees into the FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame the night before and will be honored at halftime of the game.
For any FGCU enthusiast, or fan of college basketball in general, this will certainly be a Southwest Florida matchup to remember and is expected to be in high demand. Additionally, the first 3,000 fans through the door will get a special commemorative t-shirt celebrating the event.
Additionally, another marquee contest will be the twice previously postponed Rhode Island game return from the Eagles trip up to New England in 2017. The Rams are one of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 and will be at Alico Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Several more games are slated to be announced in the near future as well as the full schedule for the Hilton Garden Inn FGCU Invitational which will be held Nov. 26-28 in Alico Arena. Overall, a minimum of 16 regular-season home games are expected this season.
Ticket information is available by calling 866-FGCU-TIX, logging on to www.FGCUTickets.com, or stopping by the Alico Arena Box Office during business hours Monday through Friday. Season tickets are currently on sale following the summer renewal period. Mini-plan options and single-game tickets will be put on sale closer to the season. Additionally, group tickets are available for family outings, corporate events, or any other organization looking for a fun outing to attend.
The Eagles return a talented core group of upperclassmen entering the year while adding several experienced transfers who will be immediately eligible. Headlining the newcomers is 6-foot-11 center Kevin Samuel (Codrington Village, Barbuda/Redemption Christian (Texas)/TCU) who had 95 consecutive starts at TCU and is one of the premiere shot blockers in the country. Alongside starters and top returning scorers, Caleb Catto (Cape Coral, Fla./Southwest Florida Christian Academy) and Cyrus Largie (Miramar, Fla./Mater Lakes Academy), FGCU features game experience, depth, scoring and defense at each position.